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unHeritage – 11 Pitfalls to Family Legacy and How to Avoid Them


“unHeritage is definitely the lighthouse for protecting your family and wealth for generations. This book is a must read for anyone interested in legacy planning.” Enzo Calamo

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Center for Family Conversations


The Center for Family Conversations (CFC) is a resource center that provides the integral tools and ideas in helping families establish a 100-year-plus Family Legacy Plan.

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THE TYCOON PLAYBOOK – How Business Empires Are Built


The Tycoon Playbook course was created for business families who are already running a successful business and wish to ramp up their growth while preserving wealth for future generations. Specifically, the Playbook teaches high performance business owners the two most highly rewarded skills in business, namely deal-making and how to acquire cash flow producing business assets.

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Game Changers

  • Meet the Corporate Change Makers | Emma Colenbrander

    Meet the Corporate Change Makers | Emma Colenbrander   Profit and social impact don’t have to be incompatible. Emma Colenbrander started her own social business to help address energy poverty in India. She introduces several other corporate change makers and discusses how business and social and environmental change can work hand in hand to improve people’s lives.   Emma is a co-founder of social business Pollinate Energy, which works to provide India’s urban poor with access to basic products and services to make their lives better.   In recognition of her work with Pollinate Energy, Emma is a 2014 Laureate Global Fellow. Emma is also currently working for the Australian aid program in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where she has worked in results-based management, humanitarian programming for the African continent and international development finance.

  • Excellence Through Generosity | Gilmore Junio

    Excellence Through Generosity | Gilmore Junio     WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO GILMORE JUNIO?   Olympic Speed Skater, Gilmore Junio shares his personal story of generosity and how building a culture of selflessness can lead to personal excellence. Junio recounts the story of how and why he gave up his place in the 1000 metre Olympic final in Sochi 2014 to his teammate who won the Silver Medal for Canada. Gilmore teaches us that we have more to win when we are generous.   In the summer of 2010, Gilmore Junio was named to Canada’s Long Track Development Team, and that fall he found himself travelling the globe racing for Canada at World Cups. Three years later he was ranked 8th in the world with a World Cup Silver medal, and just a year after that he found himself representing Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. But despite his accomplishments on the track, it was was what he did off the track at those Olympics that resulted in Junio’s receiving a champion’s welcome upon his return home to Calgary.   After teammate Denny Morrison fell and failed to qualify for the men’s 1000 m, he received a text message from Junio, who decided to withdraw so that Morrison could have the opportunity to race instead. Morrison went on to win the silver medal in that race, giving Morrison his fourth ever Olympic medal, equaling Gaetan Boucher for the most medals by a Canadian male long track speed skater.

  • Bloomberg – Game Changers (Steve Jobs)

    Bloomberg – Game Changers (Steve Jobs)    

  • Game Changers – Netflix

    Game Changers – Netflix  

  • Bill Barnett: Global Game Changers

    Bill Barnett: Global Game Changers   Bill Barnett has spent his academic career studying Silicon Valley success stories, but he says some of the most innovative new business models are now being created in other parts of the world. From the Mexican entrepreneur who found a way to turn desert cactus into a bleach-free alternative to traditional detergents, to Alibaba’s Taobao in China and MercadoLibre in Latin America banking the unbankable, he says a new breed of global entrepreneur is unleashing a wave of innovation that could only have come from the places where their businesses were born. Barnett is Thomas M. Siebel professor of business leadership, strategy and organizations at Stanford Graduate School of Business. 

  • Business Growth Strategies: Double Your Customer Base Overnight by Peter Ireland

    Business Growth Strategies: Double Your Customer Base Overnight by Peter Ireland

    Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners Can Use Acquisitions to Double or Triple Their Customer Base Overnight   Oftentimes it’s easier to significantly increase your customer base through the acquisition of competitors than it is with the more commonly used marketing route.  Anyone with at least a modicum of business experience appreciates just how challenging it is for an established business to grow its customer base by 10% per annum if it relies solely on marketing efforts.  On the other hand, the acquisition of a competitor can double, triple, or quadruple your customer base at deal closing.  Business Growth Strategies     What many business owners don’t realize is that it can be cheaper as well faster to go with the acquisitions growth strategy. To illustrate this, let’s take a look at cases where this was capitalized on from the recent past.  Specifically, let’s look at businesses which utilized subscriber revenue models such as cable-TV and Internet service providers.  If you owned a small system in either industry, you were faced with a choice of growth through marketing or acquisitions. Now suppose that you had set as your goal a doubling of your subscriber base in five year’s time. We will assume that this target is extrapolated from your growth rates over the last three years. An analysis of your customer acquisition costs needed to double your sales over three years may show that a marketing based strategy’s costs will exceed those of an acquisition strategy.  Morever, the acquisitions route will achieve your goal by doubling the subscriber base as soon as the deal is finalized.   Are you still not convinced that an acquisitions-base growth strategy is the way to go? Okay, let me throw in another reason to seriously consider this option: lower risk. Yes, if you know your business and industry and decide to buy-out a competitor your risk can be reduced because you are taking control of an asset that you understand and that has passed your due diligence. Imagine for a moment that you own and operate a pizza parlor and are looking for ways to expand. One day a marketing consultant calls on you to pitch a new marketing strategy which he promises will double your sales over three years–but at a substantial cost. The week after you are notified by a friend that your competitor down the street is for sale. Acquisition of this pizza joint would instantly double your revenue. You compare the prices of the two options and discover that they are only about 15% apart.   Which is the lower risk option? In most cases, the acquisition of an add-on profit center for your business. After all, you already know to successfully operate such a business and the lenders will trust you more than someone needing a loan to attempt some unproven growth strategy.   Business Growth via Acquisitions   Back in the 1990s, there was a great deal of M&A activity in the printing industry.  One large printer embarked on […]

  • There is no leadership without courage: Narayana Murthy

    There is no leadership without courage: Narayana Murthy   Infosys founder and chairman Narayana Murthy spoke about the skillset that a leadership needed to possess and how integral a part courage played in leadership.  

  • Needs: What’s Real & What’s Aspirational by Dr. Bill DeMarco

    Needs: What’s Real & What’s Aspirational by Dr. Bill DeMarco

    Values, History and Folklore, are the core elements of culture at a point in time.  They are our link to our personal past…handed down to us by all those who came before us. This is true of our ethnic culture, our tribal culture, our national culture, our religious culture, and our personal culture, to name just a few.   Since we are the link to our past, we are caretakers of something precious as we hand it down to future generations.  Since culture is a living thing, it does change over time, but ever so slowly.  Just think about it; there is some behavioral mannerism, belief, perception that you got from an ancestor who lived a hundred or many hundreds of years ago.  To use a modern expression, “You are Connected”.  There really is nothing new under the sun, other than our choice of what we will do with our cultural inheritance.  Since culture is a living phenomenon, we will make our choices and then pass the culture on to future generations, along with our contributions.  That is the way it is and that is the way it will continue to be. Image 1: DeMarco Culture Model © 2003 Dr. Bill DeMarco All of this gets us back to our discussion of Values.   I described Values as “the unique blend of perceived Needs, Beliefs, and Attitudes that live in the behaviour of most members of a society”.   Needs are one of three segments of the Values element of my Culture Model (Image 1).  Needs, along with Beliefs and Attitudes, taken separately and in their interaction, make up our unique Values proposition. Within a cultural context, Needs are similar to what Abraham Maslow (Image 2) describes as the fundamental requirements for survival, safety and belonging. They have everything to do with the necessities of the human condition, and nothing to do with a luxury car in the garage, a kitchen with granite counter tops, and two weeks in Saint Kitts! The latter, at the extreme end, has more to do with our image of “Esteem”.     Image 2: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs     Maslow’s work linked Needs to motivation.  While his groundbreaking work is still challenged by some, I find his conclusions compelling.  Satisfying individual and group needs at the three basic levels in the above image greatly facilitates our ability to incorporate our Beliefs into our Values system. Remember I wrote earlier that if we want to know what our real values are, look at our behaviour and not our words.  There is a strong link between our ability to survive and our ability to put our Beliefs into action.   Here is a simple exercise that can help identify our real personal needs. It involves reading and reflecting on the bottom three categories of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Image 2).  Then make a list of what those Needs look like in your life.  Put that under a category labeled “Needs”.  Everything else that comes to mind, put under a category labeled “Wants”.  […]


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